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Post-harvest Technologies

Work in this cluster asks: How can we reduce post-harvest losses and add value to the product through technological and logistic innovations? It looks, partly through case studies,at technological innovations from post-harvest to consumption (“farm-to-fork, fuel, or factory”) that will allow raising post-harvest value generation and value innovation and reducing losses in transport, storage and retail. A demand-driven perspective is embedded through the examination of specific quality requirements particularly for non-food biomass.

WP 5.1 “Postharvest innovations” aims at intensifying the use of all plant parts in production and post-harvest value innovation. Case studies will be based on banana, plantain, and enset in Ghana and Nigeria, and waste from coffee production in Ethiopia. To reduce transport, provide labor and increase rural incomes, post-harvest processing must start at farm level. Technological advances in processing increase resource use efficiency, reduce waste and pollution and increase incomes. Small-scale technologies will be developed, suitable for use on farm and in farmers’ cooperatives, and a medium-scale technology for a rural small-scale industry will be exemplarily developed at village level.

Research in WP 5.2 “Economics of post-harvest technologies” will investigate the post -harvest technologies applied to maize, cassava and plantain at different stages in the marketing chain in the countries concerned, and economically analyze post-harvest losses, based on surveys of actors at different level and location within the value webs.

WP 5.3 “Cassava web innovations” assesses the impact of biomass (cassava) production and processing into food and non-food  products on food security, quality and safety, in Nigeria. Cassava is an important biomass, food security and emerging industrial crop in Nigeria. It is a global candidate for food, feed and energy (bio-ethanol) production. The ongoing cassava industrialization in Nigeria represents an expanding biomass value web which can be used as a model for ex-ante assessments of the impact of future biomass production and processing into food and non-food uses.